Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Concluding observations on the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Malawi
17.While noting the enforcement in 2015 of the National Registration Act, the Committee is concerned that:
(a)Births are registered before the mother is discharged from hospital in only 4 out of 28 districts;
(b)There are delays in implementation and low awareness of the Act, and the registration rate is low;
(c)Despite enacting in its Citizenship Act a provision that guarantees that children born on its territory who would otherwise be stateless have the right to nationality, there are still cases where children born outside of Malawi or born to a non-Malawian father are at risk of being stateless.
18. Taking note of target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals to provide, by 2030, legal identity for all, including birth registration, the Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Effectively implement the National Registration Act, enforced as of 2015, making birth registration compulsory and universal;
(b) Consider developing mobile registration structures and creating mechanisms for registration at the traditional authority level, to ensure that the registration service is accessible to all;
(c) Expedite the scaling-up of health facility-based birth registrations;
(d) Develop and implement awareness-raising campaigns and programmes for the general public on birth registration and encourage parents to register their children;
(e) Consider ratifying the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of the Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, and bring its national legislation in line with these international instruments (see CRC/C/MWI/CO/2, para. 65 (d)).
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